ARTICLE SUMMARY: The effects of color on the population at large is not lost on designers. Colors are not only about hue and saturation but also about meaning. Each color can have a different essence across the globe.

The meaning of color can vary significantly from one culture to another. It’s often deeply rooted in traditions, symbolism, and historical contexts. To ignore this is to chance the possibility of limiting the exposure of your website to your target audience.

How the meaning of colour varies per culture” by Bas Wallet looks at how different cultures view color and the meaning behind the color. He looks at

  • How different cultures interpret the same color
  • How specific colors found their meaning
  • How can we make our brand more reliable

He talks about designing your brands or UIs and how you cannot just simply pick random colors that look nice. You can not assume that a green “add to shopping cart” button leads to more sales. You cannot take for granted that red error messages are perceived as an encouragement to improve form inputs.

Bas tells us “you need to test your product with its specific target audience. I would even argue that you should assemble a genuinely multicultural design team to deliver a high-quality multicultural product. Simply testing your app with a seemingly diverse set of users in your local area is still not diverse. It’s just diverse in your own bubble.”

This is a great article for any and all designers,

Let us know what you think in the comments.